Judges as Administrators (Defining Institutional Judicial Accountability)

Contemporary discussions on judicial independence and judicial accountability focus on liability of judges for decision-making, and disciplinary mechanisms ensuring the integrity of the judicial process. However, they overlook the fact that specific judges perform administrative duties distinct from their judicial functions, which were transferred from the executive to the judiciary in an effort to promote judicial independence. This study examines the responsibility of judges as administrators and their liability as agents of the corps of judges as well as the general public, and identifies extant administrative mechanisms holding judges accountable for their non-judicial functions. It proposes to define institutional judicial accountability as the responsibility of judges to exercise the judiciary’s powers of administration properly, and identifies best practices towards institutional judicial accountability, and explores the feasibility of a universal standard for enforcement.